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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol V Part I Indo Aryan Family Eastern Group"

221
Immediately adjoining, and to the east of, Mymensingh is the Assam District of
Sylhet. In the west and south of this District, especially in Suuamganj and Eabiganj,
the language closely resembles that of Mymensingh.
In North-East and North Sylhet, especially in Jaintiapur and Karimganj, the
language is more corrupt, Sylhet Town, which is the head-quarters of the District,
being within six miles of the Jaintiapur Par gana, lies within the area in which this
dialect is spoken, and hence this form of speech is called Sylhettia by Europeans. For
this reason it is often wrongly said that the language of the whole Sylhet District is
uniform, and the term Sylhettia is incorrectly applied to the dialect of the west of the
District, as well as to that of the North-East. The term * Sylhettia' properly means the
language of the town, and not of the District, of Sylhet. It is estimated that of the
2,033,000 speakers of Bengali in Sylhet, 1,355,000 use ordinary Eastern Bengali. The
rest speak Sylhettia.
The following specimen is a piece of folk-lore for which I am indebted to Babu
Padtna Nath Bhattacharyya, Vidyavinod. It is in the dialect of Western Sylhet. It
will be seen how closely the language agrees with that of the Mymensingh specimen.
With regard to the spelling, it should be remembered that an unaccented o, as in tomdr>
is pronouuced as if it was u. Moreover, the y in words like kariya is not pronoupced.
The letter e is never pronounced & as is the case in more western dialects of Bengali
When/or)" is pronounced as 0, the. sound is a little softer than that of the 2 in
English * zeal.* The locative case ends in a not , as ghara for ghare^ in a house.